Podcast: Roundtable Osteuropa 26/2021

Looking for Compatriots: Repatriation Politics in Russia and Beyond


With a new draft law on “repatriation into the Russian Federation”, Russia intends to make it easier for compatriots abroad to become Russian citizens. According to the draft law, it will be possible for “peoples and their descendants who have historically lived on Russian territory” to obtain a Russian passport. But what exactly is meant by that? Who is deemed a compatriot within this framework? Together with Tsypylma Darieva and Tatiana Zhurzhenko, we look at Russia’s repatriation politics since the collapse of the USSR and discuss the concept and the broader aims of repatriation politics.

With repatriation laws, nation states give former citizens or members of ethnic diaspora the right to return or try to maintain ties to those communities abroad. Famous examples are Israel’s Law of Return or Germany’s Vertriebenen- and Aussiedlergesetz. After the dissolution of the USSR, repatriation also became an issue for Russia and other post-Soviet nation states.

(Music: “Complete” by Modul is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0-License.)


Roundtable Osteuropa

Roundtable Osteuropa is a podcast by the Centre for East European and International Studies. Scholars of ZOiS and their guests discuss their research of Eastern Europe. We consider events in politics and society, while also trying to shed light on lesser-known issues – with insights from sociology, political science, geography, social anthropology, literary studies and theology.